Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Ash Wednesday

Today is Ash Wednesday. Last year, we were at Community Presbyterian (home church in AL), had a pancake supper with our congregation on Tuesday night, which was followed by information about Lent. My husband helped plan this meeting and I was planning Lent Sunday School lessons and the preparation of our hearts for Easter in Sunday School (teaching 4k and 5K). We've done this the past few years, and last year was the first year our church observed it together. I loved it. My jogging group would talk about the gospel during our runs and our general need for Christ, sometimes with tears and broken hearts. There's something about giving up something you enjoy (that may be very hard to do), to make you see your own lack of self-worth. It's very introspective. It's meant to be.

This year, I didn't even really think about it until yesterday, when I arrived at work and everyone was wearing Mardi Gras beads (apparently, Mardi Gras is a big deal in Jackson, MS), and the children made masks and such in their classes. Double blink. How could I forget? I enjoyed it so much last year. Did I enjoy it because I was participating with my husband and a group of good friends? Did I enjoy it because I participated in giving up something that I loved? Was my own self-righteousness the reason why I loved Lent last year? Pause... Our church does not "do" Lent here (as a whole- maybe some families do it independently) and Quinn has been swamped with schoolwork and has not thought about it. Guilt.

I loathe seeing my own self-righteousness.

And yet, seeing it breaks me and points me to the cross. My heart is filled with selfish ambition and my own self-importance. Lent is never about me. It's about Christ and me seeing my need for Him.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Love It

fail owned pwned pictures
see more pwn and owned pictures

LOL. Can you see this happening? I can and it makes me laugh harder.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Reflections of a Human

We went to Birmingham this weekend for our church's 25th anniversary. It was lovely. I'm sad the weekend went by so fast.

There are a hundred things whirling about in my wee brain, but I shall not wax eloquent (ha) on them this morning (class starts in 20 minutes). Instead, I will give you, in question form, a tidbit (if you will) of my thoughts.

Seminary time is a strange time. We're living completely different lives than we used to. How will this reflect on our future? Will this play out in our ministry?

Am I really going to be a pastor's wife someday? The thought of that makes me tear up and want to throw my head in my hands and sob. I don't feel like I'm cut out for the job. And yet, it appears that it will happen. Husband will be a peach of pastors. And I shall be his liability.

Crow's feet is making me angry. My vanity is an absolute idol. How can I be a leader and yet have so many things that I worship other than God? Be honest. I cast it off as "obsessive compulsive" (eating, laundry, exercise, appearance, performance), but is it really that I'm building my own dissolving, crumbling, imperfect kingdom? There is such a fine line between being healthy and being obsessed. I never walk that line. I think about it and jump right into obsessiveness.

Where will we live when we go back to Birmingham?

Will I have another baby? Or two?

Am I really thinking about going back to school this summer? Because I sure am procrastinating on getting things started.

Rachel, Rachel, Rachel... What will she do? Who will she marry? Where will she live? She is our girl, though I never birthed her. I watch her with interest and fear.

My heart is full and there are tears behind my eyes. Life is unsure, though I'm pretty sure of my calling. Why did He choose me for this purpose? I am unworthy of the calling.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Valentime's Day

Have you ever noticed that a lot of children will say ValentiMe's Day instead of ValentiNe's Day? If you haven't noticed, then I'm telling you, THEY DO. It must be easier to pronounce the M instead of the N. Well, this fact has not escaped my music teacher at school (she's a smart cookie), who integrated spelling the word Valentine out loud with the children and having the children practice pronouncing in together for her lesson this week. It would go a little bit like this:

"Boys and girls, why are we singing songs about 'being my Valentine'?"

All together, with big smiles and sparkling eyes, "Because it's close to Valentime's Day!"

"Yes. Boys and Girls, let's look at this chart together. Spell Valentine with me." She uses and pointer and points to each letter as the children spell it with her. "V-A-L-E-N-T-I-N-E." Big smiles. "Yes. Very good. Tell me, boys and girls, is there an M in that word?"

"Noooooo." Big smiles.

"You're right. There is no M in the word Valentine. We don't say, 'Val-en-tiiimme'. There is no M. Watch my lips, boys and girls: Vaaalll-ennn-tiiinne. Don't put your lips together at the end of the word. Vaaalll-ennn-tiiinne. Can you try that?"


"No, boys and girls, not 'mmmm', 'nnnn'. Don't put your lips together. Try to say 'nnnn'."


"Very good. Now let's try to say Vaaalll-ennn-tiiinne."


"Very good!" She points to a picture of a Valentine Mailbox on the poster. "Boys and girls can you tell me what this is?" Hands shoot up. She calls on a child.

"It's a Valentime Mail Box!!!"


Tuesday, February 03, 2009

The DOOM of the Squirrel

This past weekend, Quinn decided to clean out the fireplace. We've not lit a fire in it this winter because it was advised that we wait to get it cleaned first. We called a couple of chimney sweepers (cue Dick van Dike image from Mary Poppins) and, WOW!, they are not cheap (cue Dick van Dike image with angry eyebrows holding out his hand for money)). So, Quinn decided that he would give it a go. He's handy and he's cheap (in a good way) and I have full confidence in his abilities. It's a very messy job (I sat, invisible, on the couch, reading a book), but I think he actually liked getting dirty. While he was sitting on the hearth, cleaning out the inside of the fireplace, he opened the grate (???) to let things that might've gotten trapped up there fall to the bottom. And then, THUMP, a THING lands in the bottom of the fireplace. A dead thing. That used to be alive. Sad story. The previous weekend, we had heard much loud (very loud) scratching from the top of the fireplace, and since we didn't really know how to get the critter out, we just hoped that he would figure it out himself (he got in, didn't he?). Yeah, he didn't make it.

Poor little guy. The children were nearly in tears, but Daddy quickly took care of the deceased squirrel and finished cleaning the fireplace. After I took a picture, of course. Morbid.
But see? Now we have a working fireplace. And I am happy. Because the living room is the coldest room in the whole house.

Thee End.

Monday, February 02, 2009

All Aboard the Sarcasm Train (choo!choo!)

Here we are, in the middle of winter and my seasonal depression crap has kicked in full force. I'm weepy and depressed and really could just do with some warmer temps and some flip flops without my little piggies turning into ice cubes. I realize that I'm in Mississippi and you folks up in those colder states are pointing and laughing at me. And perhaps even (gasp!)scoffing at me. Show me some sympathy! I grew up in Florida and this time of year, my little Floridian heart longs for the warm sun (yeah, don't ask me about being a Floridian in August- I'll deny it- the sun will melt the hair off your head). My best defense against the winter blues (besides driving my husband crazy with incessant tears) is sarcasm.

We celebrated Groundhog Day today at school and will celebrate it the whole week by singing joyous Groundhog Day songs and reading ancient Groundhog Day stories at school. What? Did you NOT celebrate Punxsatawney Phil emerging his tiny, rodent head out of the ground? Well THAT is a travesty.

Of course, this holiday (snort) shall be IMMEDIATELY followed by Valentine's Day, oh the day that made Hallmark stores what they are today. I will make 60 Valentine's Day cards this weekend (possibly 70!) and make four dozen cupcakes next week for school parties. And sing Valentine's songs aplenty.

And, OF COURSE, that will be immediately followed by President's Day. Do you have your President's Day cards filled out and ready to mail? I'm a little behind on that right now. You know, I may not actually get those out this year. Wipe your tears.

Contrary to my previous statements, I actually am enjoying these events. It will make February go by quickly and March brings (ta-dah!) Spring!! And Spring Break! And Daffodils! And Cherry Blossoms! And open-toed sandals! Well, maybe not open-toed sandals in March (a mistake I make every year), but there will be a lot more open-window days. Sigh.

Off to get a blanket for my frozen piggies...